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System integration of functionalized natural materials

  • Sylvia W. Thomas (a1) and Norma A. Alcantar (a2)

Abstract

The use of natural materials in paper and textiles, and in support of tunable and mechanically robust systems for sensing toxic gases, removing pollutants from water, and constructing functional biodegradable scaffolds, is a topic of great scientific and practical importance. The social, environmental, and economic impact of using natural materials to functionalize integrated systems for new designs is imperative, as the need to reuse and recycle natural resources has increased in current manufacturing. The inclusion of sustainability in the design of new materials and processes is almost a common practice; concurrently, the usage of “being more sustainable” is becoming a more conjointly used term in urban conversations. That said, systems integration and natural materials are intrinsically related to produce novel materials that can function as sensors, switches, platforms, and building blocks in a sustainable fashion. The contributions in this issue of MRS Bulletin highlight the importance and benefits to society that systems integration of functional materials can provide.

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Copyright

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